Risk factors for dry sockets. - Part II.
This page discusses the following causes and risk factors for dry sockets (alveolar osteitis):
Part I of this topic explains patient history, extraction difficulty and failure to follow post-op instructions as risk factors.
Studies have suggested that people who smoke are more than four times as likely to develop a dry socket as compared to those who don't.
What's the cause?
A number of theories have been put forward as an explanation as to why this may be. Some of them are:
- The carbon monoxide that enters a person's bloodstream when they smoke limits the amount of oxygen that can be carried to, and therefore is available for, their extraction site's healing tissues.
- The sucking action created when a person smokes may dislodge or otherwise disrupt the blood clot that has formed in their tooth's socket.
- Nicotine may create systemic effects that interfere with the normal healing process.
- At a local level, tobacco smoke may damage or be toxic to tissue cells.